border review | 28 July 2011

Henryk Szadziewski: The Uyghurs, China and Central Asia

Henryk Szadziewski for openDemocracy on the problems Uyghurs face in Central Asia:

The post-Soviet era and the years of “war on terror” have seen the consolidation of authoritarian regimes in central Asia, punctured by episodes of domestic conflict (as in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan). The region’s political leaders, seeking to maintain themselves in power, find China’s mix of one-party rule and economic dynamism an attractive model.  Since the establishment of the SCO, their countries’ trade with China has grown substantially. […] This developing economic relationship, underpinned by a shared ideology of power, equates for the Uyghurs to more repression. Uyghurs, and in particular refugees in central Asia, exist in the shadows of the international community and of transnational organisation such as the SCO. They need more protection by mandated international agencies from the reach of the Chinese state.

(Via ETH Zurich, International Relation and Security Network. Szadziewski manages the Uyghur Human Rights Project)